How to Start a Research Paper

hi I want to talk today about how to start a research paper research papers are different from most other kinds of papers because you’re trying to have an argument for yourself and really looking for something to say from your own point of view so you’re not trying to just describe something Oum or compare something you’re really trying to find something out and answer a certain question have an argument for yourself best place to start is starting with what you already know so if you’re given a certain topic say the Zapatista uprising in Mexico in 1994 that’s still a very broad topic and you’re going to need to narrow it down because otherwise you could end up with a 15 page paper just explaining the events that happened that’s not a research paper so start writing out what you already know maybe you know nothing and that’s okay but think about other things that you do know about other cases of rebellions maybe or if you’re viewing a if you’re talking about a certain book what are some other authors that have written things that might be similar starting with what you do know will kind of help get you thinking before you start reading things so think about other things that connect to your topic not just the topic itself the next thing you need to think about is what your sources will be now there’s two types of sources there is primary sources and they’re secondary sources there are other kinds but for our purposes today we just need to think about primary and secondary sources a primary source is something that was written at the time that something occurred or somebody with direct knowledge of the thing so this would be newspapers this would be journals letters anything that was written at the time of something happening or somebody with first-hand knowledge a secondary source is things like articles books journals magazines anything that was produced after something and somebody who’s looking at something and writing about it not just writing about themselves with their own experience but looking usually looking back and bringing in other research and talking about that as well secondary sources are great to help provide context for your own arguments and they’re also great to help give you some background knowledge before you start up looking at a topic so in that way secondary sources can actually be a really good place to start primary sources are usually what form the meat of your argument however so if you’re looking at an example would be school curriculums in the 1960s and what types of things were being taught in American or Canadian classrooms you might want to start with those direct sources themselves where do you find primary sources libraries almost always without fail libraries are the best place to go University Libraries invest a huge amount of time and money to build up great collections of things you can certainly search for things easily online you can look for stuff online my only warning would be is that you so wherever you’re looking for your source or wherever you find something you make sure that it is an actual academic source that you can use if you’re not sure ask your professor ask your instructor whatever make sure that you can use it because it might looks like something that’s real but unfortunately with the internet anonymity you can never be it’s you can never be too too sure so it’s good to just double check on those after you’ve looked at some primary sources start writing down what if you found out what are some things that are starting to come to your mind this is going back to the whole idea of writing down what you know starting with what you know and what you found out kind of leads you through this progression while where you’ll eventually end up having some questions which is the next part taking the questions that you have and starting to think about your topic in ways that maybe people haven’t thought about it before an example is I just wrote a paper about world war one war letters now people have definitely compiled a lot of collections of war letters but I was looking for how soldiers were constructing notions of time and specifically how they were thinking about the future to my knowledge no one’s done that that’s what makes research it’s something new a new way of approaching it especially in fields of Gender Studies and sexuality there is a ton of stuff to think about so when you’re looking at your sources think about not just the stories that they’re telling and the information that they’re giving you but what are they not giving you what are they not telling and maybe there is something there you can find out sometimes it leads to a dead end and there’s no more in way you could get more information that’s okay you still learn something about it now when you have all of these questions you want to take take a look at them and what is the most interesting one what is the thing that you’re most curious about that is going to be your research question research papers should always start with a question to answer having an argument means you have to find something out and I think some people try to write their papers by coming out with a really strong statement and then just trying to back up that statement and make connections well that’s certainly one way of writing a paper usually it’s a lot easier and more interesting for yourself if you’re starting with a question and as you’re writing your paper you’re answering that question then you can go back rework your thesis which will become the answer to the question what do you think the answer to the question is that’s your thesis your whole paper will back it up this is just the beginning good luck Godspeed and see you next time you

In-Text Citations Made Easy (APA)

[Music] to begin a workshop let’s talk about the three most common mistake students make mistake number one is sort of obvious no sources used at all here’s an example the student makes some excellent points about a leaders emotional style and especially about one of the courses key concepts generosity but in the entire post the student does not refer to any of the many sources that discuss illustrate and explain the role that generosity plays in leadership mistake number two is providing only a reference citation every time you use a source you must have both an in-text citation and a reference citation they are a matched fair by not providing an in-text citation the reader does not know what specific information in the post was taken from the source that is listed as a reference in this example we have three paragraphs about communication strengths but no in-text citations so the reader must ask which of the three sources listed down below apply to which paragraph we don’t know because there aren’t any in-text citations to fix this DQ post we must add an in-text citation to the sentence or sentences that contain information from the sources that we’re using the information in the sentence about practice comes from the Welch video so we would add an in-text citation at the end of that sentence all in-text citations consist of the author’s last name date of publication and page number unless you’re referring to the whole work or quoting from a source that doesn’t have page numbers so let’s add parentheses Welch comma 2015 close parentheses and there is no page number because it’s a video the information in the second paragraph that training as an actor Hills comes from the Halperin and lubricants page one so let’s add that in-text citation the information in the third paragraph comes from the Alessandra PDF the entire PDF is about the Platinum rule so no page number is needed so now the post looks like this containing both abbreviated in-text citations in the paragraphs which in turn refer to reference citations at the bottom that provide enough info for the reader to find the source on his or her own one other thing to notice an in-text citation can only apply to the sentence it is a part of that’s right an in-text citation can apply only to one sentence at a time that raises the question how many times must I cite a single source and one paragraph the answer is as many times as you use that source if you use the same source three times in one paragraph you must cite it three times in that paragraph here’s an example Barker and Gower 2010 examine the use of leadership presence as a way to increase productivity in the workplace Parker and Gower present a model of leadership that facilitates communication throughout the organization Barker and galleries approach may not be suitable for all organizations but the information provided can be useful to any leader looking to increase communication success in the workplace and there’s the citation Barclays and Gower 2010 what is leadership presence so a little too much Barker and Gower I think so too at least the author knew that you only have to give a sources publication date once in a paragraph however avoiding the repetition of the author’s names is easy you just refer back to the source you’ve already cited like this Barker and our 2010 examined the use of leadership presence as a way to increase productivity in the workplace the author’s present a model of leadership that facilitates communication throughout the organization this approach might not be suitable for all organizations but the information provided can be useful to any leader looking to increase communication success in the workplace so the phrases the authors this approach and the information provided all make it clear that the sentences in the paragraphs all of them are based on Barker and Gower and we did it without repeating the author’s last names this is perfectly legal and necessary when you’re discussing a single source extensively in one paragraph and that brings us to a mistake number three end of paragraph citations like you see here when an in-text citation comes at the end of a paragraph the reader really doesn’t know for sure if the citation refers only to the last sentence of the paragraph or to all of the sentences in the paragraph above it so you want to avoid an end of paragraph citation unless it makes exactly clear which symptoms or sentences are being cited now let’s fix it notice how the use of the source has been integrated into the paragraph and it’s clear the citation refers only to the last sentence keep in mind that there are two and only two ways to use a source whenever you write one you can quote from it or two you can rephrase it in your own wording now regardless of whether you quote exactly or whether you rephrase it into your own wording you must always cite the source here are some examples the first one is a quote so obviously there is an in-text citation now notice three things a signal phrase such as according to or Adelle a States is used to introduce the use of a source that’s called signaling the source the author’s last name add la along with the year of publication 2017 is an in-text citation since the author’s last name Adela is mentioned in the sentence as a noun it is not inside the parentheses and finally a page numbers use if the information comes from a specific part of the source in the case of the quotation obviously the information is coming from a very specific part now if we rephrase the quote from a going into our own wording we still must provide an in-text citation as you see here now the in-text citation comes at the end of the sentence and the author’s name is inside the parentheses because the student writer chose not to use the author’s name

Lecture: How to Write an Essay by Dr Jonathan Norton, Heythrop College

in your introduction right what do you think the issues involved are and note that there are potentially some complexities are ambiguities involved and then make an argument and then conclude by saying I have now done what I said I would do in the introduction and here are my main insights gathered together so as a broad structure of sections an introduction that says what you intend to do followed by doing it followed by a conclusion it is a good idea but more abstractly what do you think an essay is it’s an argument but that’s just right I think it took me about two days to think of that last year it’s it’s an argument you’re asked a question you then produced an argument in response to the question so your argument will be a response to the question inevitably and there are different kinds of question there are questions like controversial statement followed by discuss Paul was a feminist discuss and then often those controversial statements are so clearly controversial that you immediately have a chance to dissect the question and say well it depends what you mean by feminist and on the one hand one could say this on the other hand you could say that there’s an element of Ekron anachronism involved but I’m going to approach it this way and the new cities out there and then there’s the other kind of question which simply is very broad like disgust sin in Romans which is deceptively hard because then you have to decide what you’re going to say about it and what you think should be in the discussion of sit and you also have to generate an argument because otherwise you’re just going to list a load of things listing what you know is fine it’s not wrong but it’s actually a prerequisite to making an argument you should know some things because you read some things so I would say listing a number of things you know on a subject is in general terms probably the kind of thing that gets you a medium mark like a to to having your list of things in your head identifying an argument that you’re going to make and then make it making it using the list of things you know that’s when the grapes go up so what if I said here does it make any sense yes I mean an S oh and I say actually I was also pleased to discover recently the essay I think simply means an attempt which is nice you don’t have to solve perennial problems of scholarship you’re going to make an argument it’s going to be your attempt to answer the question so as long as you can make a coherent argument in which you set out what you think the issues are and then you discuss them critically and using your insight and then conclude that’s good you marshal the material you’ve studied you make an argument in order to show what you’ve studied and that you’ve thought about it critically you probably know what I’m going to say if we turn to page two what’s the first thing you do when you read an essay title what’s your basic approach in fact to an essay title for the whole thing just identify what you think of the most important terms in the title and then you analyze them so we begin with example a which we don’t need to spend too long on it’s the first kind of question that I mentioned the controversial statement or at least the bold statement in quote marks and then discuss all the theology in Romans is to be found in the first eleven chapters discuss what immediately springs to mind when approaching that question yes if it’s theology in the first eleven Watts in the last five and what would be the key I think there’s probably one key word in that title apart from the fact that you need to talk about Romans theology now of course you could make you could make this discussion terribly complicated for yourself you could draw on your knowledge of theology systematic theology Karl Barth’s theology Augustine’s theology you could draw on your knowledge of theology and you may have read enormous amounts of systematic theology and you can have an extremely long and complex discussion of what theology is that’s probably off track because you need to show what you know about Romans but you knew do need to set out in your introduction the point that theology is a key term here and depending on what you mean by theology that will affect how you will answer the question now I’ve put two main points really it is true that I mean Romans is often thought of as Paul’s systematic treatise the one way he sat down towards the end and sent it all out systematically but if you read works like Wedderburn x’ the reasons for romans i hope he’s here yes there is would have been 1988 or if you read the Romans debate you can’t really hope to study Romans without reading Don freed 1991 the Romans debate or many of the more recent introductions to Romans especially das 2007 solving the Romans debate they’re all on pages 44 and 45 people are not quite so sure that it is a abstract systematic theological treatise first of all Romans does not cover all of the topics that Paul talks about in his no letters secondly there does seem to be a particular situation he’s addressing scholars are divided on whether he writes primarily out of his own situation or primarily with a view to the situation of his Gentile Roman Christian audience in in Rome and many will this when many will conclude it’s a combination of both but he does seem to know something about their situation as we see in Romans 14 there’s two groups who are disagreeing about what kind of customs to follow apparently Jewish customs there’s reference to one group boasting over another group throughout Romans particularly Jews and Gentiles so he does seem to have a sense of a situation in Rome he also wants to visit and you know he greets people by name at the end of Romans so he D he’s got some idea of the situation in Rome so I tend to agree that it’s not simply his most abstract systematic treatise it is him presenting his gospel to people that he knows something about and he’s got reasons to do so so there is a situation even behind Romans but now it’s true that Romans talks consistently on a consistently abstract level about the universal state of sinfulness in which Jews and Gentiles find themselves and how Christ is the universal solution to this estate he discusses you discuss his very broad universal themes like the sinfulness and mortality of Adam which then becomes a state for humans and the activity of sin in the world and the weakness of flesh and how God achieves in Christ what the law couldn’t and that kind of thing so and in Romans 9 to 11 he talks in very broad universal terms about the relationship between Israel and Gentiles and how all in the animal in fact you don’t know there’s been a hardening of part of Israel in the present moment it’s actually Paul’s own Gentile mission that will finally caused the rest of his relative to come in in Romans 11 you know the Gentiles the the gate in gathering of the Gentiles was supposed to make the Jews that he’s worried about who haven’t accepted the gospel yet come in and so all will be safe so very broad terms in Romans 1 to 11 we can see that in a sense you could say they’re more abstractly theological in a sense and then in it is also true that in chapters 2 to 15 Paul switches to practical concerns chapter 12 harmony in the community chapter 30 and and relations with outsiders chapter 13 relations with authorities paying taxes chapter 14 appealing to two groups which he calls the strong in the weak to accept each other even though one group seems to value Jewish customs and another group thinks they’re not necessary and finally chapter 15 his plans to come and visit them on his way to Spain and his hope for support so you have got this broad division between chapters 1 2 11 and 12 to 15 in terms of are the more Universal abstract concepts in the first 11 chapters and and the clearly practical concerns in the final chapter so you could in a sort of a simple way list these things note the difference and say the title is true but then you might also note in your introduction preferably in case you run out of time to finish the essay you’ve shown in the introduction that you thought it you could note but hang on a minute if all the in all the theology is in Romans one to eleven are we really to suppose that what Paul’s practical advice and appeals in chapters twelve to fifteen are unrelated to his theology are his plaque practical discussions simply unmotivated by any of the theology he’s bothered to set out in chapters 1 to 11 is it absent is it is that just a shopping list so then you start just you start to refine your judgement and say well bit the theology set out in more abstract terms in the first eleven chapters must at least inform the practical concerns that he raises in the second so all of a sudden the answer is becoming closer to no not really or at least it depends what you mean so this is just an example of how you might go about answering that question which I’ve set out here probably with spelling mistakes that’s true there isn’t another meaning there isn’t oh yes that’s exactly right you could you could even say so in conclusion I would rephrase the title the first eleven chapters is all theology not necessarily oh you you’re actually reading all Paul’s theology is in the first 11 chapters of Romans rather than all the theology in Romans is in the first 11 chapters that’s a slightly different question again is you could also see an exam question which asked you is Paul’s theology summed up entirely in Romans people have often said yes that’s right you could say it’s set out most abstractly and universally in the first 11 chapters and then applied so there’s a lots of ways you could rephrase it favorite question what were the problems in Corinth and with the caveat answer with reference to 1 Corinthians 2 Corinthians is a fascinating letter but it’s often missed out from this sort of syllabus simply because it’s complicated people generally agree that it’s at least two letters of Paul to the Corinthians stitched together many people think it’s three stitched together not necessarily in the right chronological order Schmitt all’s thought it was 13 but then Mittal’s simply dissects everything andrey configures it in order to produce the Gospel according to Schmidt all thinking about 1 Corinthians what were the problems in Corinth what springs to mind if one was asked that question yeah iein Paul seems to list that very early on its virtual virtually the first I mean he mentions divisions as his principal warrior and when you read some of the literature like Kurt Tyson’s 1982 the social setting of Pauline Christianity I know many of these books are old and some out of date and it is frustrating but they are still immensely important and unfortunately it’s just a sad fact of academia that most important books are often also out of print Amazon is very helpful I’d buy these classics for myself for families and in paperback baby books they’re very good so when you read Gert Tyson’s social setting of Pauline Christianity and Wayne Meeks originally 1983 but updated in 2001 I think first urban Christians and then a couple of articles that I will recommend later but in the reading list things like John Barkley 1987 no no no sorry John Berkeley 1992 Thessalonica and Corinth social contrasts or the introduction to Gordon fee oh the there’s there’s a broad literature of the last 30 years which way to take on board Paul’s concern about divisions but then go on to say we’re reading between the lines of his letter we’re starting to see social divisions possibly groups forming around local house patrons in Corinth and their dependents their households clustering about them these patrons having a favorite apostle probably the apostle that are baptized the household it seems like the two apostles in the contention of Paul and Apollo’s so possibly a house patron of a household church trying to get a particular baptismal apostle onto the household payroll to increase the honor of the household and Paul is resistant to receiving fees from the Corinthians it comes up in 1 Corinthians 9 and becomes even more a greater bone of contention in 2 Corinthians their cross that you won’t accept fees because he’s the patron client relation so yes social divisions just going back to this before we leap in though and start to list actual problems in current what will we this this title isn’t quite as easy to analyze I mean presumably problems is a key term what are we going to count as a problem first Paul’s letter to Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians virtually reads like a list of what Paul thinks the problems are they might not have agreed so one thing to notice is the question doesn’t say what does Paul think the problems were in Corinth because then you could virtually summarize the letter especially if you include those moments where he seems to be defending himself from criticism like in 4 3 and 9 3 he mentions some are criticizing him it doesn’t say what does Paul think of the problems in Corinth this is what were the problems in Corinth this could throw us off slightly for a moment again because we might think you know a lot of the commentaries especially the older ones will start with talking about Corinth and its people and they will often mention these sort of early Roman reports from moralizing aristocrats that Corinth was a bit of a city of sin and there was a dock slots of prostitutes and there was just all sorts of debauchery going on so you could end up writing half a page or more as some people do about the problems in wider Corinth it was all terribly immoral that’s not quite what we want to concentrate on really first of all we’re sure that we want to talk about 1 Corinthians and what we know about 1 Corinthians and we do want to get down to Paul’s theology but also try to deduce or infer what some of the Corinthians are thinking to and also when when people do give me these um sort of speeches about how immoral Corinth was there being a little bit of anachronistic often because while you might get some Roman aristocrats of the early Roman period proclaiming that Corinth is immoral people like cleaning and Seneca and Plutarch do moralize a lot they aren’t quite moral moralizing people and they they extol Hellenistic virtues of patience and temperance and modesty and friendship and so that’s just their view to go to an idol Temple is not an immoral thing in the greco-roman world in fact in in the particular context of honouring of God it might be quite appropriate to go to a temple prostitute in the greco-roman world so you’ve got to ask you know by whose standards is currently immoral you know so it probably not worth going down that track particularly there are problems in Corinth for Paul because Paul is Jewish and he’s apostle to the Gentiles and apostle of Christ so he would certainly find idolatry and temple prostitution immoral not all the Corinthians do even though they’re Christians now as we see in Chapter six and eight and also what does the Corinthians think are the problems in Corinth that’s the point that some of them might think it’s Paul Paul might be that one of the problems in Corinth for them now given that khloe’s people in Chapter one have reported divisions to him apparently we might infer that khloe’s people at least think that division is a problem in Corinth but even having said that khloe’s people might simply have been chit-chatting to Paul and Paul might have heard about what he interpreted his divisions clothed people might not even be worried about divisions and thence the farness and when we get to 1 Corinthians 16 14 15 ish Paul says I’m very pleased that Stefano sand akaike sand what’s his name have come to see me it’s a good chance they’ve brought the Corinthians letter to Paul and he’s writing the reply as they sit there with him they might have been gossiping about Corinth and they might have expressed what they thought were problems Paul conveniently forgets for a moment in Chapter one that he’d baptized the father said his household he says who else I baptized that oh yes there was the farness in his household but beyond that I remember although by the time he gets to chapter 16 he’s he’s yeah he’s saying that’s right he’s saying on it’s lovely to cease the furnace and a carcass and the other one and I recommend that you submit sister Barneses Authority so you might have been feigning forgetfulness in Chapter 1 yeah it’s part of his argument in Chapter 1 to quell this interest in who baptized whom because the Corinthian groups are clustering around pop apostles different baptismal apostles so it is actually part of assignment right there to take the emphasis off who baptized whom but when he gets to chapter 16 actually I rejoice that the coming of stephanas fortune artists and a carcass because they have made up for your absence what does he say now brothers and sisters you know that the members of the household of stephanas were the first converts in a care I urge you to put yourself at the service of such chaps so that’s chapter 16 15 forward okay so having looked at this question we’ve realized that the question is problems for whom problems by whose standards and although it says in Corinth we can broadly assume we mean in the Korean in church or the occur in thean assembly having said that problems in wider Corinth like idolatry and sexual kinds of miss currency are a problem for Paul because he’s got this Jewish outlook on such behaviors it’s not at all clear that all the Corinthians see idolatry and going to prostitutes as a problem because as we sent some of them are apparently doing it and Paul has to ask them not to in Chapter six and eight um yes so the simple answer to the question the straightforward answer which shows that you know the contents of the letter would be to list what Paul names as problems divisions people are spouting worldly wisdom although that seems to tie in to some possible critical criticism of Paul possibly not being very well educated we get reading between the lines we get the hint that the one of the groups that is not for a partner Paul might be saying that he’s not very rhetorically gifted that’s that’s right you can almost infer it from 1 Corinthians one to two and then Luke later records that a policy was known for his wisdom and education and erudition and it was that act 17 Luke Luke would calls it later on yeah Corinthian boasting in the behavior of the incestuous man I’ve written in the incestuous behavior of a certain believer here Chapter five lawsuits between believers believers visiting prostitutes good chance that might be temple prostitutes a tendency for some married Corinthians to adopt sexual aesthetic ISM celibacy as a form of devotion to Christ Paul might this Paul might find this worryingly reminiscent of cultic devotion to Isis in Corinth sexual immorality various kinds various issues relating to worship broadly in chapters 8 to 14 8 to 10 are about idolatry fact that some Corinthians claiming monotheistic wisdom their knowledge that there is only one true God asserting their right to go to the temples anyway probably because it’s good for business deals social relations getting meat getting medium your whole social sort of network might collapse a bit if you stop going Paul’s got two answers one in chapter 8 don’t do it for the sake of the weaker brother renounce your right for the up building of the church and then in chapter 9 he presents himself as somebody who else’s rights a series of rights that human Ounces second answer chapter 10 in any case he says they may not be gods but they are demons and you can’t mix them with your with the Lord and then a number of other issues in chapters are 11 to 14 the loose hair of probably married women presumably it would be inappropriate for a married Greek or Roman woman to go out in public with her hair uncovered but in certain cults again women had the opportunity to let their hair down and let it go wild so the Dionysus cults and where they might go into frenzies speaking tongues be possessed by Dionysus and there would be loose and that was more or less appropriate in that context but not normally although Livie gets very grumpy about the Dionysus cults in Rome in 2nd century BC they’re quite brutal but that’s Livie being a moralizing Roman heiress to crack the common folk were probably doing this Paul probably doesn’t want them babbling ecstatically with hair loose so he says to the women prophesied by all means but with your hair properly covered I tend to assume he means married women and then in chapter 14 12 to 14 really would you stop competing about these spiritual gifts they’re all important and would you actually please Curb Your Enthusiasm for babbling in tongues because it’s mayhem I speak in tongues too but I’d rather prophesy because prophesy edifies the church can you at least prophesy one at a time if you speak in tongues one at a time have somebody interpret the whole chapter all of chapter 14 is about doing things in order getting things harmonious and in order reducing the chaos it’s two reasons one that order edifies the church and chaos just alienates brethren from brethren to chaos also alienates potential believers these unbelievers who are apparently present at worship they might be drawn in if they see the sense in it all so 12 13 14 are all about the spiritual gifts 12 is the emphasis that no gift makes you superior to anybody else because all the gifts come from the same spirit same spirit same Lord same God same same same different gifts same spirit that’s chapter 12 chapter 13 he’s exemplifying himself as a model again for annotation I think love is essentially defined in chapter 13 as that which edifies harmonizes and unites a community so you can say I’ve given up all these childish things we need to do that whichever edifies and unites and then chapter 14 he says so let’s apply this principle of love to harmony up to 15 some of them are denying in some sense the resurrection whether they’re denying the corporeal nature of Resurrection they might be offended at the idea of dead bodies rising or as Jeffrey Asher has argued in 2011 sorry mm very good book Asher mm polarity and change in 1 Corinthians 15 they might be appealing to philosophy and physics and objecting hang on Paul terrestrial materials cannot occupy the celestial realm so how is an earthly body supposed to go to heaven Paul says well you’re right but you’ve forgotten the principle of change Aristotle told us we will all be changed there’s your list straightforward answer these are the things that Paul thinks our problems but as we’ve mentioned there are other ways to think about the question what are the indications of what the Corinthians think of problems it’s Paul a problem for some of the Corinthians are the Corinthians worried about all the things that Paul worries about probably some Corinthians are on Paul’s site and thinking along his lines Stefano’s khloe’s people others not so there we go that was a rather long-winded way of going through that possible question we won’t get anywhere near through even a fraction of this enormous handout today but the question I wanted to think about is one of those frightening ly broad questions you do get questions like this what are the difficulties in understanding Paul’s letters it’s deceptively hard really so many ways you could approach it what would you say the key terms I’ve set them out actually surprisingly enough Paul’s letters is an ambiguous term in a sense and I spent I approached C first and my usual that’s the next two pages basic point I make there you can read it at your leisure is it’s worth early on mentioning the fact that you’re aware that there are disputes about authorship of Paul’s letters and there is a an agreement on the seven undisputed letters of Paul and when it comes to Ephesians and Colossians and 2 Thessalonians I would say scholars are divided about 50/50 when it comes to the pastor and epistles of Timothy and Titus you’ve got a majority saying no he probably didn’t write them himself they’re probably written by people of the Pauline school some decades later don’t know put a number on it maybe 80% think that deutero Pauline rather than directly from him and the sense that Paul didn’t write the Hebrews the letter to the iboga as always all the way back to Origen at the Hebrews doesn’t actually claim to be by Paul although it was collected in the Pauline corpus from very very early so manuscript collections show us that Hebrews was collected with Paul’s letters from early on it doesn’t say it doesn’t have a greeting from Paul or a farewell from Paul the only thing and it’s not in Paul’s style at all and it’s not really Paul’s theology but the one thing it does Hebrews at the very end is as this oddly Pauline reference to sending a chap called Timothy which does make it sound a bit Pauline doesn’t it it might be mimicking one of those Pauline habits of mentioning Timothy at the end of letters or it might be just mentioning somebody else call Timothy to be common enough name Hebrews 13 22 forward I appeal to you brothers and sisters bear with my word of exhortation for I have written to you briefly I want you to know that our brother Timothy has been set free and if he comes in time he will be with you when I see with me when I see you anyway what you want to do with the term Paul’s letters is very briefly in the introduction say I’m aware that there are disputes I’m aware that most people agree on the seven undisputed letters these are what I will focus on so mention it so you know about it and dispensed with it almost immediately go otherwise you could end up writing an essay on the authorship of Colossians which isn’t the question the terms difficulty in understanding however really need thinking about although I think I fudged it in the end because I end up saying I think probably the most important term in the whole title is understanding because what you mean my understanding depends on what questions you’re asking of the letters really what do you want to know do you want to know what Paul thought do you want to mirror read a letter to discover what his audience were thinking do you want to discover why Paul put things in this particular way in this letter in which case you still need to mirror read to try to work out the situation and what the audience might have been saying which is then effects how he responds to them do you want to distill Paul’s entire theology in which case you’ve still got to think about the situation of each letter because he puts things differently at different times there are other things I’ve listed but depending on what you’re asking does affect that does affect what you mean by understanding but I think if we just we just map out if we just lay out a few difficulties that are that I can think off the top of my head we’ll probably see different nuances of the word understanding as we go along I then have this little bit which I call section part Part B which I’ve tried to lay out in my own way what I think distinguishes some of the letters and I’ve done it in terms of the situation that each of the audience’s seems to be in that was that was my approach and very briefly I’m rather impressed with the Macedonian churches Thessalonica and Philippi because they seem to have generally genuinely taken Paul at his word they seemed to have become monotheists and drawn some social boundaries around themselves and withdrawn somewhat from their neighbors and kin that’s very impressive actually in the greco-roman world to become a monotheists is by a number of pagan authors as atheism because its ability to refuse to one of the gods it’s basically atheism so insisting on only on acknowledging one God is refusal to honor the gods this leads to social marginalization and proper honor of the gods really holds the whole cosmos together in Roman and Greek views you know honoring the right gods in the right ways keeps the relationship between humanity and rather fickle and easily angered pantheon of gods that keeps that relationship stable there are Emperor’s like Nero and Domitian you got very worried and they thought well the Empire’s falling apart because people aren’t honoring the gods enough these days so for the master for the vessel own vessel own Ian and Phillip Ian Christians to withdraw somewhat from standard worship with the gods and changed their customs and become non earthiness it’s quite impressive and if you read let alone 1 Thessalonians and Philippians Paul is encouraging them in their suffering and saying look at me I suffer imitate me one suffers for the gospel but not for too long because the end is coming so they’re quite impressive really the Corinthians have taken precisely the opposite approach approach the Corinthians seem to have adopted Christ you know that adopted a devotion to Christ but many of them seem to simply have added Christ on to the list of other gods they’re honoring actually because this still that some of them are still going to the pagan temples and Paul’s main complaint throughout throughout Corinthians I suppose there are three main problems for Paul in 2 Corinthians 1 is they’re divided into factions to some of those factions seem to be criticizing Paul so he has to reassert his authority and 3 they’re not drawing proper hope boundaries of holiness around themselves the body of Christ is holy but they’re having the body of Christ polluted by their habitual Corinthian customs idolatry prostitution lawsuits various kinds of incest so really they haven’t changed their habits at all totally the opposite approach the Philippines and the Salone the Galatians have come up with a compromise the Galatians have taken on boards Paul’s gospel they’ve decided yes we want to be saved from sin and from the imminent wrath of the Jewish God who we accept as the creator of the universe so what are we to be like now look around oh wait Jews obviously we’ve become a kind of Jew it’s a fairly reasonable thing for them to think Paul doesn’t even have a word for Christian so they do make a big social change which makes them a bit like the Philippines and the Thessalonians but they look around for the familiar social category that they’ve become and what is familiar to them is the synagogue down there out okay we’ve become Jews and they’re deciding that the men are going to get circumcised and they’re going to obey various Jewish laws and they even have some encouragement from some Jewish Christian preachers who seem to have come up from Judea Paul is determined to ban them from doing that and tell them that they mustn’t become Jews they need to be saved in Christ as Gentiles those are for three broad response responses to Paul’s gospel you can read through that section at your leisure but then in Part C on page 12 I’ve listed some difficulties I don’t want to give you the impression that I’m telling you that there’s a way to answer any of these questions that we’ve looked at so far these are my ways and I’m thinking aloud for you with you but I’m only demonstrating the process of having a think about the question I the last thing I want to do is say there’s one way to write an essay because there isn’t people come up with very interesting and inventive and creative ways to write essays and we’re always surprised by what people come up with but the basic principle of analyzing a question and thinking what are the key terms of what are the ambiguities in the key terms what are the ambu ik ambiguities inherent in the question discussing them and making an argument that’s pretty much a universal rule of thumb I’ve listed the problem of mirror reading number one then you come across the idea of mirror reading a letter resume it but it falls half of a conversation and we don’t have access to the other half but we sort of treat Paul’s text almost like it’s reflecting what the recipients of the letter are saying or at least what Paul thinks they say which is good that’s that’s John Barkley back in 1987 and it’s a really really good essay it just gives you a very clear sense that inferring the situation that that Paul is addressing from Paul’s letter which is all we’ve got is something we all have to do all the time because it even affects how we understand Paul depending on what he’s responding to we all have to do it and yet it’s more complex than one might think John Barkley takes Galatians and it’s a nice case study 1 Corinthians is similar there are difficulties in never reading it further on in the further on in the handout mirror reading 1 corinthians and i get down to page 18 the second item that i’ve mentioned which I call invert evaluating the afore meteo of rhetoric sounds a bit grand really isn’t it it’s it’s very closely related to mirror reading as opposed the point is that Paul isn’t always involved in persuading an audience to modify their view and adopt his view that means that his letters are ultimately rhetorical their acts of persuasion so he’s always having to start with a position that they accept to sort of accommodate that position and then move them step by step towards accepting his position so his letters are arguments they’re processes which moons so we get his rhetoric reading the letter the surface of the letter we are seeing his rhetoric to the audience and on the one hand his rhetoric informs us of the situation because his rhetoric is our only access to that original situation but his rhetoric has as much potential to guide us as to misguide us doesn’t it because he will often present to them his ideal view of how things should be and we are in danger of often reading taking that to be the situation as it is in corinth or as it is in Galatia or I’ve always had this suspicion when Paul presents the Corinthians as a group of people who were united and are now dangerously divided is it possible that that’s his rhetorical way of approaching it is it possible that actually they’ve never seen themselves as a single unity before in ever and Paul is trying to make them unite for the first time but his rhetorical approach could be to present them as once having been united and now dangerously divided threatened them with the fall from grace that and you know the shepherd jeopardizing the salvation from sin that they value what if he’s responded Oracle strategy misguided us in that in that way I’m not saying saying that is the case but his his his rhetoric could misguide us they were reading 1 Corinthians I suppose we’ve talked about some of those issues already in that what were the problems in Corinth they’re saying that we had to think about I suppose one question is the letter tells us what Paul thinks our problems but we have to infer what might be problems in the eyes of some of the corinthian groups but there is there is this feeling that Paul identifies divisions as a problem commentators like Gordon fee and Kingsley Barrett and Witherington will say so we can assume that there are some parties in Corinth but the problem for Paul might be something that the main problem of division in Corinth for Paul might be that one or more groups in Corinth are criticizing him so it’s a sort of a loss of authority so Authority might be a problem for Paul he doesn’t say explicitly in his letter one of my main concerns is that I’m losing authority in some sections of the corinthian assembly but reading between the lines that may well be what’s going on Annie says as I said in chapters 4 & 9 um some of you are judging me in chapter 4 he says I don’t care because I don’t judge myself God judges me and in Chapter 9 he says this is my defense to those of you who judge me but we also we get other indications for example the whole diatribe about wisdom wisdom of the world and wisdom of God in chapters 1 and 2 why does he go into that because Eddie Adams again who’s listed in the bibliography in his book from 2000 constructing the world he was looking at the terms cosmos and Issus in Paul’s letters which is world and creation and he does a survey of attitudes to the world in the creation in Greek literature and then he looks at Paul and he says well actually Paul isn’t generally very negative about the world or creation it’s God’s good creation when you can say in Romans 8 that all of creation is groaning to be reconciled to God so we do get the sense perhaps that creation and humanity are somewhat astray and need reconciling again the end of Romans 11 Paul can say once all the Gentiles have come in and then all Israel will be saved then everyone will be saved and then God can be all in all everything and everything and the word for everything is tap hunter which is another Greek term for the universe really so the whole universe is reconciled at the end of Romans 11 as well so Paul didn’t generally I mean Paul can be negative about this age at the age which is perishing the present evil age and Galatians 1 but in the main he’s not particularly negative about creation and the world because it’s God’s good creation there is something somewhat unusual about 1 Corinthians 1 to 2 in this stark dichotomy between the perishing world and those being saved the wisdom of the world and the wisdom of God why does he create this stark dichotomy but again reading between the lines and judging by some of his more defensive sounding statements for example at the beginning of 1 Corinthians 2 when I came to you I did indeed not come speaking in world worldly wisdom or lofty world words of erudite wisdom I did indeed speak so even if you know the sense is maybe that they’ve said some of them have said well Paul Paul’s restoration very good his oratory isn’t very good levels of education aren’t very impressive he turns it back round he turns the criticism back round again on them in a classic Pauline way indeed you’re right I didn’t come speaking in terms of worldly wisdom but this is because the wisdom of the world is actually foolishness in terms of the wisdom of God he separates there is the world into that well he separates reality essentially into two spheres a perishing sphere and the sphere of those being saved he puts worldly wisdom on one side and divine wisdom on the other and then he places himself squarely in the sphere of divine wisdom and those being saved which of course rhetorically somewhat excludes those Corinthians who are being negative about him the door is now being held open by Paul but they’re outside he’s holding it ajar in saying now I’m inside holding the door open for you but the way you’re acting places you into the perishing sphere of worldly wisdom do you want to come in or do you want to stay outside because if you come in you’re going to have to accept me as your apostle your one father in Christ that’s where he gets to in Chapter four a policy is my coworker and helper I planted Apollo’s watered but I’m your father in Christ if you want to come in through the door you’re going to have to accept me as your authority again but if you want to come back into the sphere of those being saved and the sphere of wealth and wisdom you’re going to have to come through the door on my terms he’s not saying they’re not saved he says we’ve been sanctified you’ve been made righteous you are saved but in that typical Pauline way the already not yet you know you are saved therefore act as though you were say you are holy therefore act as though you were holy you are you are in Christ but your behavior is starting to jeopardize your status in Christ you’d better come back in under my authority so chapters 1 to 4 create this stark dichotomy and it starts to exclude them but he gives them the opportunity to be included again by the end of chapter 4 I’m your father don’t make me come with a rod so I sort of set out this this dichotomy in on page 16 and try to sort of I suppose I haven’t done it in the text but I’ve just tried to locate that within what we think might be the dispute some of the issues going on for Paul so again it’s he mean is what he says but if you sat down and asked Paul over a calm cup of tea on a Sunday morning what do you think about wisdom and the world and God you might give you a rather different answer and more Placid answer the fact that he puts it in these stark terms here does seem to have to do with something to do with the dispute he’s having in Corinth so the terms in which he puts a thing can be very much related to the issue that is at hand and it might it might well be a dispute or an attempt by him to persuade people and to get them back on his side then we get this very interesting phenomenon I don’t know what Bible translation is your favorite which is the one you usually use NRSV RSV isn’t bad as a study Bible and it’s they try to be consistent in their translation of terms you’ll find in your RSV and your NRSV you get in particular in 1 Corinthians you get quote marks around some of the things Paul says to indicate that feat translators of the RSV or the NRSV think that Paul is quoting and Corinthian position back to them and then trying to correct it we’ve got some examples 1 Corinthians 1:12 I am of Paul I’m of Apollo’s I am of Cephas that seems to be him reflecting possibly and slightly in terms that slightly mimic them but he’s reflecting their fact the fact that some are affiliating with different apostles six twelve thirteen is quite interesting that’s quite right and I did want I mean on thinking them page 19 I mentioned this is it 19 to 20 so RSV tends to translate I belong to Paul I belong to Paulo’s but Margaret Mitchell in her Paul and the rhetoric of reconciliation points out that it’s we’re actually better off sticking with the old King James Here I am off Paul I am of amorous because that particular genitive construction I am of X is she scours the Greek literature which is imminently qualified to do and finds that this is actually a sort of a fixed phrase that doesn’t it doesn’t indicate Allegiance expressed by political parties so much as the allegiance of a child to a parent or a slave to a master so in fact he’s teasing them a bit for being childish and actually he teases them for being childish throughout the letter at different points very good so for example once you’ve once Mitchell’s pointed this out to us that’s I am of Paul I am of her policies actually teasing them for being childish and expressing themselves in terms of allegiance to a parent or a master all of a sudden we noted we we recall that in at the end of chapter four he presents himself as a parent and presents himself as and presents them as naughty children and then where else do we get it end of chapter 13 where he’s presenting himself as a model of somebody who renounces childish ways and grows up like an adult beginning of chapter 3 he says you know we who are spiritual ones are tutored by the Spirit but when I wrote to you brothers I have to write you write to you as though you were babes infants in Christ because you were only ready for milk but not solid food chapter 14 be children in terms of innocence but would you please grow up no don’t don’t babble in tongues chaotically his childish and he makes this distinction between the mature and the childish in chapter 14 because again as he does in chapters 2 to 3 and Jeffrey a sure in his Paul of polarity and change in 1 Corinthians 15 points out that Paul’s tone throughout the second half of 1 Corinthians 15 is actually classically of a schoolteacher admonishing school children so so actually some of these subtle studies done by people that really know their Greek literature start to expose some a consistent thread of Paul’s rhetoric throughout teasing them for being childish I’ve even wondered whether we know that you know how in Romans sorry 1 Corinthians 10 Paul principally alludes to the episode in numbers 25 and what’s the other principal episode the golden calf that you know the idolatry episode in the Exodus where whereabouts was it the exodus 13 or 16 that he only went oh x2 the Golden Calf incident in in numbers and Exodus he doesn’t quote it explicitly as a citation the one thing he quotes explicitly as a citation is what there’s 1 Corinthians 10 7 as it was written the people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play quite subtle but some a commentator like Gordon fee takes us through it and says well actually the Septuagint the Greek translation of the Jewish Scriptures talks about associates idolatry with playing actually and sexual mystery and see associated with pagan idolatry it can express in terms of playing but like children a number of times that’s very subtle but you one does note without without expecting the Corinthians to trace this rather subtle wordplay through the Septuagint like Gordon fee can do he does quote scripture explicitly and says rose up to play the kind of he’s using child language again for the Corinthians behavior so that that’s just a little bit of a tangent there because we’re so um I am of Paul I am of Cephas then we get into chapter 6 12 to 13 commentators can’t quite agree on where to put the quote marks but I think as it that they’re generally probably on the right track when they notice that Paul will quote a Corinthian position and then immediately correct it virtually deny it and correct it so quote all things are lawful for me and then Paul says but not all things are helpful quote all things are lawful for me this isn’t lawful in terms of Jewish law this is actually just the word meaning miserable ordinary Greek word me excess tin meaning permissible all things are permissible for me and then Paul corrects but I will not be enslaved by anything and then probably another Corinthian quote food is meant for the stomach and stomach for food is this the Corinthians justification for actually doing what they like physically well I mean if my spirit is saved append and there’s going to be no physical resurrection then I can I can go to prostitutes and I can do various things Paul replot responds yes but God will destroy both one and the other he does care about what you do in your body the body is not meant for immorality but for the Lord and the Lord for the body so a pattern of Paul quoting what he takes to be at least a parody of their position and then correcting it in his own words we see the same sort of thing in 1 Corinthians 8:1 — for now concerning the food offered to idols we know that quote all of us possess knowledge that seems to be their justification for their idolatry we have knowledge where monotheists we know there’s only one God therefore we can go to the temples but Paul it Paul responds yes but knowledge puffs up where his love builds up and he adds if anyone imagines that he knows something he does you’re not yet know as he ought to and goes on in verse 4 hence the food the eating of the food offered to idols we know that quote an idol has no real resistant existence and quote there is no god but one then I think I probably should have added Paul’s response again he goes on to correct them again so a pattern of parodying a corinthian position and then reflect and then correcting it so this is the one way in which we neuro read and start to construct corinthian positions what about 1 corinthians chapter 7 verse 1 this is a very interesting case in my RSV and pretty much every I know now the NRSV is quite unusual Paul writes now concerning the matters about which you wrote and then the NIR sv have decided to put it is well for a man not to touch a woman in quotes this shows you that the NRSV think that this is actually the position of some of the corinthians he’s responding to and he’s going to go on to correct it apparently some of them are particularly married corinthians are proposing to abstain from nuptial relations that’s why the NRSV and thornton fee incidentally would put it in quotes and then paul corrects it yes but because of sexual immorality i want you know men and women who are married to sleep together in the in the natural married way these are their conjugal rights stop defrauding each other yes okay have a break by consent for prayer for a while but come back together again so that satan doesn’t tempt i wish everyone had my gift presumably he means of being celibate whether he never married or is a widower we don’t know but not everybody does have my gift so his actual his argument 3 1 corinthians 7 turns out to be stay as you are stay as in the state you were in when the Lord called you will you married stay married don’t defrauder of nuptial relations were you unmarried ok I’m going to advise that you remain unmarried because it’s easier at the end of days and the time is drawing nigh but nevertheless marry if you need to will you circumcised stay circumcised will you uncircumcised dancers I stay as you are so the quote marks there in 1 Corinthians 7:1 be it is well for a man not to touch a woman whether or not you put quote marks there makes quite a big difference because I think traditionally that’s been taken to be Paul’s title statement for the whole chapter is that means that the chapter is broadly about you’re better to avoid having sexual relations whereas if you do put the quotes around it and it’s Paul’s position which he’s then somewhat modifying and correcting in different ways for different kinds of people his main point of chapter 7 is becomes principally stay as you were in the state stay in the state in which you were when Paul when when the Lord called you remained you remain a Gentile remain married having your proper nuptial relations remain unmarried if you can that’s a case where the quote marks and trying to mirror read which is Paul’s position on which is the Corinthian position makes it actually quite a profound difference to how we understand what Paul’s saying and why he’s saying it does that make sense yes this then gives me an opportunity to give you another this is less of a handout than me just having a little rant but I think it’s actually quite a nice example of how depending on how you read Paul’s rhetoric you will have quite different readings of the letter again I’m going to go with Gordon fee and Margaret Mitchell as I’ve mentioned a couple of times before fee is one of the people who says divisions are a problem that divisions are particularly a problem for Paul because some groups are criticizing him so fundamentally for fee the real problem for Paul in 1 Corinthians is his authority and regaining it over all sections of the church yes he seems to presuppose a broad base of support still because he can address them all as you plural throughout the whole letter but the loss of authority in some sections is the principal worry for Paul according to fie and Barrett and others this is related to division but division is subordinate to his principal problem of losing his authority Margaret Mitchell writes her book as she sets out at the beginning that one of her aims is to correct people like V and monk who you’re Hanna’s monk who fears depending on she says I think we should take Paul at his word Paul says division is the problem and in fact every single issue raised in the letter does relate to a division division about wisdom of the world and the wisdom of God division surrounding Apollo’s and Paul division surrounding some Corinthians boasting in the behavior of the incestuous man division regarding breath believers suing each other in law courts some believers going to prostitutes others abstaining from nuptial sexual relations so division in marriage we’ve got division between the knowledgeable and the weak in Chapter 8 as to whether or not to go to idle temples I suppose the list just goes on division about hairstyles when women a prophesy in church division about who competition and rivalry about the spiritual gifts and some apparently boasting disproportionately in the gift of tongues this agreements about the resurrection yeah I mean that you know it’s a catalogue of divisions really isn’t it if you look at it that way Mitchell goes on to say we’ll take Paul at his word and take division to be an actual problem so far she hasn’t really disagreed with fee yet has she because we acknowledges division as a problem that does see that as a subordinate problem to Authority but this is where fee Mitchell diverges from fee Mitchell sassette says nobody’s criticized Paul when Paul says in four three I don’t care if you judge me anyway in fact I find nothing wrong with myself got judges me and when Paul says in nine three this is my defense to those who judge me Mitchell says actually this is just a rhetorical device he’s fabricated this rhetorical law court situation where they’re judging him in order to convey teaching he wants to teach to them it’s all a rhetorical fabrication she even finds one example from my Socrates in one of his one of his writings I can’t remember which one now where our TOC Bertie’s recounts an occasion on which he wanted to eulogize himself in public he wanted to praise himself but he felt that it might annoy his audience because he had quite a long list of things to praise himself for so in this anecdote he said so what I decided to do was present my own self eulogy in terms of a courtroom defense as though some sycophant had accused me of something and I was presenting a self defense in court and this I felt would be a way of conveying all the positive points I wanted to make about mice there’s clearly a humorous piece but it’s the one piece of literature where Mitchell says well this is an example of somebody fabricating a courtroom defense in order to say something else I’m not sure it’s necessarily a very good parallel to what she thinks Paul is doing because it’s my Socrates writing for an audience of his text an anecdote about some other occasion where he did something amusing so I’m not sure it’s a very good damn parallel but anyway one of her main points is if we look at 1 Corinthians 9 1 Corinthians 9 is clearly Paul presenting himself as a model for imitation he’s asked the knowledgeable of chapter 8 to renounce their right to go to temple were Revival temples for the sake of the weaker brother thus to edify the church and then in chapter 9 Paul says look I renounce rights I have the right to bring a wife around with me like Seif us but Barnabas and I don’t take it I have the right to demand fees even the LORD commanded those who preach the gospel who live by it I renounced that right so that I can boast still Mitchell says this sounds quite complicated but it does make sense Mitchell says if as fee and monk and Barrett to claim 1 Corinthians 9 is simultaneously a defense against criticism and a presentation of himself as a model for imitation it’s rhetorically completely incoherent in his defense he’s asking his judges to imitate the behavior for which they’re judging him and she says this is an incoherent thing for somebody to do so clearly it’s a made up it’s made up criticism and a mock defense my response to this would be actually I can’t think of another case in history in which the defendant thought the eternal salvation of his judges depended on their minutes eating it this might be one difference but also I think she might have missed the difference the distinction between a judicial trial and political criticism some have criticized it let’s say some of criticized him in Corinth and he is defending himself from that criticism that’s real but the fabrication the rhetorical fabrication is the fact that this is a courtroom trial he does present it in the courtroom terms so in a sense she’s right that he’s invented a court case but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t been criticized anyway and this I present to you you may decide one way or the other but this I present as an example of how Paul’s rhetoric might guide or misguide us his fee right or his Mitchell right I don’t know I think I tend to side with fee but Mitchell is very remarkably erudite and good scholar and yet she she comes to a completely different conclusion on the basis of the same letter in the same rhetoric you